Archives for the month of: August, 2009

My wife grew up on Norwegian army bases, her father was a professional soldier.  When he died earlier this year she acquired this dish — it’s roughly nine-inches across, very solidly made, rather nice for potatoes.


I was looking at it this morning, it’s got a swastika on the bottom.  According to my wife, when the Norwegians regained ownership after WW2, the former-German military bases were in good shape and they didn’t see any reason to throw away the china.


It looks to my uneducated eye like it had belonged to the German airforce.  But why did they bring plates that had been manufactured in Bohemia?  It’s so far away.  And come to think of it, I thought the German name was Böhmen.  Why were they calling it Bohemia, assuming it was not for the convenience of English speakers?


The little squiggle at the bottom seems to have a heraldic lion inside.  The dish is in perfect condition, no chips or crazing.  I wonder if it’s worth any money, or if we’ll just get to keep it?

V in office

If you walk by the goathouse in the morning, before we let them out, Vesla is often at the window on the left.

ves 2She looks as if she’s in her office, working.  The window is right next to her hay bag, so that may be partly why she spends so much time there.  She’s standing on a raised platform which gives her a good view.  She often spends the whole morning there.

From our Russian correspondent, mab, this story (first posted here):

Here’s the breaking goat news from Russia via The Moscow Times (it’s the silly season for newspapers…) I have to go see this goat and find out the story. I mean, why is he in glasses? And what the ruble around his neck for? Inquiring Readers Want to Know!

We here at Crime Watch like to keep readers abreast of not only the latest gruesome felonies but also of random acts of criminal anarchy.

Some people, it seems, have no shame.

A five-meter tall statue of a goat in the western Russian city of Tver was brutally vandalized this week by unidentified hooligans, who removed the wooden animal’s glasses, broke his tail, tore up his saddle and left him covered in graffiti, the local Tver Information Agency reported.

To add insult to injury, the vandals also stole a large wooden ruble that had been hanging from the neck of the goat, which, according to the report, is one of the city’s most prominent symbols.

The wooden goat has had some troubles in recent years. Last year its head fell off, forcing the cancellation of an event called “A Visit to the Tver Goat,” sparking “deep discontent among city denizens and foreign guests” who had arrived to have their picture taken atop the beast, the news agency said.

The Tver Goat will be on the DL for a while now while undergoing repairs, after which the city will make greater efforts to protect him, the report said.

It’s was unclear from the report whether a criminal hooliganism case had been opened, though we assume Tver City Hall will be pressing for a full investigation.

The glasses are of course the big question, but I wonder what they mean by “sparking ‘deep discontent'”.  It’s a good phrase, that leaves something to the imagination.

A Bad Guide is currently taking a vacation, or holiday.

I found this  — it’s the same size as a can of tuna fish — at the Turkish grocer’s today.  What is it?  Does it say Ruskoya Gelato?  Zelt is ‘tent’ in Norwegian, but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing inflatable.  They had placed it with Turkish tuna to its left and assorted cyrillic chocolates to the right, so it could be either of those.  Or neither.  I bought it because I liked the way it looked.  I’d like to know roughly what it is before I open it, and I figured someone here would be bound to know.  Half of you probably eat it for breakfast .  Or not.

Rigas Zelts

I’m no expert, but I think little Muntz is going to be a smallish cat:




Sadly, I am going to be cleaning up these kitchen shelves today, so I don’t have time for a post — you can see it’s nearly a quarter-to-one already:


I won’t be sad when it’s done, however.  Then I’ll do a proper post.

I don’t know, I think you can kind of see a difference in the ‘After’:

shelves after

The tea has more room, and for the next half-an-hour or so the spices will be in a line.  Then everything will begin to revert to komplet kaos.

Snails live a solitary life, it seems; isolated homesteads rather than row houses or suburban villas.  I collected thirteen this morning and arranged them in a group, but within half an hour they had dispersed, not one was still in sight.

snail 1I suppose when it’s raining they don’t have to worry about drying out.  They really stretch out, as if they are rain bathing.  I think I see my reflection on the shiny shell.



This is an unusual slug, not from Milan.  At first I thought it was a small adder.


I found an 18″-long adder (45 cm)  in the garden the other day.  I had taken it up to the rocks where they live before I thought to take a picture.

What do goats do when it rains?

goats 2

Unlike horses and cows, goats seem quite put out by heavy rain.

goats 1

They don’t dislike it as much as wind, but we don’t send them to work at the reservoir on a day like today.


Empty’s comments about Queen Anne’s Lace in the previous post (apparently it’s a wild carrot), led me first to Cow Parsley (we have a lot of that here and I love it despite its reputation as a weed) and then to Garden Angelica, Archangelica officinalis.  The etymology of angelica (according to the English-language Wikipedia article) is that it’s from the Greek arkhangelos, which was used  because it was the angel Gabriel who told of its use as medicine — I suppose it’s mentioned in the bible somewhere.  In Norwegian it’s called kvann and grows (as in the picture above) wild in northern Norway.  Linnaeus, according to English Wikipedia, wrote that the Sami (formerly known as Lapps) used it as a flavouring in reindeer milk. It was brought to Northern Europe from Syria, and seems to have come earlier to Scandinavia than to Britain (a short article in Norwegian Wikipedia says it was used against the plague).  The most thorough article (as always?) seems to be the one by Mrs. Maud Grieve, who writes (I’d like to know more about Mrs Grieve*, does she write it all herself?).  I’m going to plant some angelica next year if I can find it.  I don’t care about its medicinal uses; I quite like it in cakes occasionally.

As soon as I had written this I opened the door of the out-house where I work and standing in front of me was a seven-foot-high Garden Angelica:

angelica 2 August 09

I don’t often get my wishes granted so quickly.  Now I remember I bought it a couple of years ago.  I’d forgotten what it was, but that’s why it’s in with the herbs.  How do you miss something seven feet high?  Lucky me, though.

*Update, thanks to MMcM’s comment, below: Mrs Grieve (1858-1941).